Altech acquires South African ISP

Altech plans to offer its cellular voice subscribers internet services

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By  Roger Field Published  April 5, 2009

Allied Technologies Ltd (Altech), a South African telecoms and IT holding company, has acquired internet service provider, Lateral Technology Concepts, for a maximum sum of SR45 million ($4.9 million).

Altech said the deal would help strengthen its mobile arm, Altech Autopage Cellular, by allowing it to offer internet services to its voice subscribers.

Craig Venter, CEO, Altech, said the company had been interested in acquiring an ISP “for some time.” He added that Altech’s move into the internet arena became a natural progression for the company following changes in South Africa’s regulatory landscape.

“Through the strong distribution footprint in Altech and in particular Altech Autopage Cellular, which has about 1 million corporate and rate and retail clients, we are in a position to rapidly scale Technology Concepts by introducing new internet services to these clients,” Venter said.

“About 64% of Technology Concepts’ business is annuity based and, although it is within a competitive market, is showing high profit growth. The acquisition thus ensures a regular and consistent income stream for Altech which will positively affect our headline earnings per share,” Venter added.

The company added in a statement that the acquisition was part of its overall data strategy, and would help the company build on its recent acquisition of an I-ECNS (Individual Electronic Communication Network Services) license, and the imminent landing of the SEACOM submarine cable in South Africa. The deal also complemented Altech’s extensive data network and ISP operations in East Africa.

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